Mobile for Development Blog

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Too many are still offline: Global figures mask regional and demographic disparities

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There are two ways people can be ‘unconnected’; either they live in an area not covered by mobile broadband, or they live in an area that is covered but do not use mobile internet. Usage gap: refers to those who live within the footprint of ...

How do free data bundles affect new mobile internet users?

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Mobile internet provides invaluable access to a number of resources including information, learning opportunities, business development, communication and entertainment. Despite these benefits, non-data users can be hesitant to spend their limited financial resources on a ...

The role of mobile coverage data in integrated energy planning: The case of the Democratic Republic of Congo

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The rise of integrated energy planning in low- and middle-income countries Data-driven integrated energy planning strategies have become a critical tool in coordinating and accelerating investments in energy access. These strategies also serve as a foundation for ...

Mobile Digital Skills Alliance: Practical considerations for implementing mobile digital skills programmes

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The Mobile Digital Skills Alliance is a network of organisations, companies and academics dedicated to generating and sharing knowledge, disseminating best practices and fostering collaboration to improve mobile digital skills across low- and middle-income countries and ...

The digital inclusion of persons with disabilities: Key learnings from our recent disability inclusive research

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Data on the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) is often scarce and unreliable. The GSMA Assistive Tech programme has been working to address this gap, specifically focusing on understanding access and use of mobile ...

Digital Inclusion at MWC Barcelona 2022

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MWC Barcelona and 4YFN 2022 kicks off on Monday 28 February and runs until Thursday 3 March. When you’re at MWC in person, you very quickly realise that it really is the world’s largest and most influential connectivity event. The impressive exhibits and conference agenda ...

Making mobile internet more accessible for people with reading or writing difficulties

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Across low- and middle- income countries (LMICs), 3.4 billion people are still not accessing mobile internet despite living within the footprint of a mobile broadband network[1]. According to the latest GSMA Consumer Survey, for people who are aware of mobile internet, ...

Mobile money can drive the financial inclusion of persons with disabilities in Ghana

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Over the past decade, the proliferation of mobile money across Sub-Saharan Africa has been a catalyst for the financial inclusion of millions of those previously underserved by traditional banks. More than half of the globe’s active mobile money accounts are now located in ...

The state of mobile internet connectivity in Sub-Saharan Africa: why addressing the barriers to mobile internet use matters now more than ever

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The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitisation of economies and societies around the world. Mobile internet adoption continued to increase in 2020, despite the economic recession. By the end of 2020, 28% of the Sub-Saharan African population was connected the ...

The state of mobile internet connectivity in South Asia: the coverage gap is narrowing but the usage gap remains the largest in the world

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In this blog, we present highlights of the State of Mobile Internet Connectivity in South Asia. Mobile internet connectivity has continued to grow in many countries across South Asia during 2020. Despite, or perhaps partly driven by, the COVID-19 pandemic, 34% of the ...

The State of Mobile Internet Connectivity: the coverage gap continues to narrow but the usage gap remains wide

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More than half the world’s population are now using mobile internet. That’s just over 4 billion people connected, and with 94 per cent of the world’s population covered by a mobile broadband network, lack of coverage is no longer the main challenge to digital inclusion. The ...

Announcing the GSMA Innovation Fund for Mobile Internet Adoption and Digital Inclusion Grantees

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For most of the world’s population, mobile is the primary way to access the internet. Although access to mobile internet is driving digital inclusion, there is still a ‘usage gap’ with over 3.4 billion people living in areas covered by mobile broadband networks but who are ...

GSMA Innovation Fund for Mobile Internet Adoption and Digital Inclusion: Highlights from the Top 100 Pitches

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Despite the increases in mobile broadband coverage worldwide, a large gap remains in usage. 3.4 billion people live in areas covered by a mobile broadband network but are still missing out on the potentially life-enhancing benefits of using the internet on a mobile.[1] ...

How NuRAN and the GSMA are working together to bridge the rural network divide in Ghana

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The Connected Society Innovation Fund for Rural Connectivity, which is funded by UK aid from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), was set up to expand digital inclusion in rural areas through innovative technology solutions. In this blog series, we will ...

Up to 50,000 people from rural communities gain access to mobile coverage through newly deployed network sites in Ghana and Uganda

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The Connected Society Innovation Fund for Rural Connectivity, which is funded by UK aid from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), was set up to expand digital inclusion in rural areas through innovative new technology solutions. We are delighted that the ...

The importance of digital literacy to access sexual and reproductive health content via mobile internet

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We know that mobile internet content can bring invaluable benefits to millions of women worldwide. But developing relevant e-health services for women is not only about making information and services available through an app, a website, SMS or USSD channels; it’s also ...

KaiOS, enabling accessible and affordable internet for all with the GSMA’s MISTT module

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KaiOS is a mobile operating system for so-called smart feature phones. With this new category of phones, we at KaiOS aim to help close the digital divide by overcoming one of the main barriers to internet access: the affordability of devices and data. But solving the ...

Mobile connectivity in Sub-Saharan Africa: 4G and 3G connections overtake 2G for the first time

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Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to stay connected has never been more important. With protection measures introduced across the world, the internet has taken more space in our lives – helping us to stay active professionally, access information and to ...

Mobile connectivity in South Asia: Huge improvements in mobile broadband coverage bring 640 million online in last five years

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Accelerated deployments of 4G networks in South Asia[1] meant that the region was the biggest contributor last year to further increasing the number of people in the global population that live within the footprint of a mobile broadband network. However, as the latest ...

Why are digital skills important for financial inclusion, and how can the mobile money module in the GSMA’s MISTT help?

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This is the fourth blog in a 6-part series to mark the re-launch of the GSMA Mobile Internet Skills Training Toolkit (MISTT). You can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here. This series will deep dive into each of the new MISTT modules (Online ...